|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Virginibus Puerisque by Robert Louis Stevenson:
consequences, that the thing stands alone in man's experience,
and has no parallel upon earth. It outdoes all other
accidents because it is the last of them. Sometimes it leaps
suddenly upon its victims, like a Thug; sometimes it lays a
regular siege and creeps upon their citadel during a score of
years. And when the business is done, there is sore havoc
made in other people's lives, and a pin knocked out by which
many subsidiary friendships hung together. There are empty
chairs, solitary walks, and single beds at night. Again, in
taking away our friends, death does not take them away
utterly, but leaves behind a mocking, tragical, and soon
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rezanov by Gertrude Atherton:
ing and leaping that both combatants were indis-
tinguishable from the whirlwind of dust. Out of
this they would emerge to stand panting in front
of each other with tongues pendant and red eyes
rolling. Finally the bear, nearly exhausted, made
a sudden charge, the bull leaped aside, backed again
with incredible swiftness, caught the bear in the
belly, tossed him so high that he met the hard earth
with a loud cracking of bone. The vaqueros circled
about the maddened bull, set his hide thick with ar-
rows, tripped him with the lasso. A wiry little
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:
up on the approach of this stern personage. 'I'm a devil I'm a
devil I'm a devil, Never say die Hurrah Bow wow wow, Polly put the
kettle on we'll all have tea.'
'Take the vermin out, scoundrel,' said the gentleman, 'and let me
Barnaby, thus condescendingly addressed, produced his bird, but not
without much fear and trembling, and set him down upon the ground;
which he had no sooner done than Grip drew fifty corks at least,
and then began to dance; at the same time eyeing the gentleman with
surprising insolence of manner, and screwing his head so much on
one side that he appeared desirous of screwing it off upon the spot.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Confidence by Henry James:
If you say that again you will make me repent of having married
the best fellow in the world. I mean to be happy, but I certainly
shall not be dull if I can help it."
"I was wrong to say that," said Bernard, "because, after all,
my dear young lady, there must be an excitement in having
so kind a husband as you have got. Gordon's devotion is quite
capable of taking a new form--of inventing a new kindness--
every day in the year."
Blanche looked at him an instant, with less than her usual
consciousness of her momentary pose.
"My husband is very kind," she said gently.